Disputes over domain names are on the rise according to the latest report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on cybersquatting. In 2016 the number of cases filed under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) with WIPO, the largest of the dispute resolution bodies, rose 10% over the previous year to “an all-time record 3,036 cases” while domain names disputed rose by 23.1% to 5,374. Each case can contain more than one domain name.

The number of disputes compared to the total number of domain names registered are small however still a significant increase creating unwanted costs for trademark owners. A large part of the increase is attributed to the new gTLDs. New gTLDs disputes rose to 16% of WIPO’s 2016 caseload while, according to the most recent Domain Name Industry Brief from Verisign, they represent represented 7.2% of total domain name registrations at the end of 2016.

ccTLDs accounted for some 14% of WIPO filings, with 74 national domain registries adopting the WIPO dispute resolution service.

The top sectors of complainant activity were banking and finance (12% of all cases), fashion (9%), heavy industry and machinery (9%), internet and IT (8%), biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (7%) and retail (7%). Philip Morris leads the list of filers – 67 cases – followed by AB Electrolux (51) and Hugo Boss, LEGO, and Michelin (42 each).

Lexsynergy can help you combat cybersquatting with domain recoveries and UDRP complaints. Contact us for a free consultation at brandprotection@lexsynergy.com